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Millions for greener homes
A new £10 million fund aims to deliver hundreds of eco-friendly homes and bring down heating bills.
The announcement of the Greener Homes Innovation Scheme follows last week's 2013-14 budget which directed investment into construction, skills and the green economy.
The scheme is specifically for affordable homes that employ modern, environmentally friendly methods of off-site construction.
Walls, floors, pipes, kitchen and roof are assembled in a factory then transported, as a unit, to the building site, ensuring a faster construction process, reduced waste and less disruption to the environment.
New research from Edinburgh Napier University predicts that the off-site manufacturing sector in Scotland could grow to be worth £240 million over the next five years.
Exports are also projected to grow from £5 million to £50 million leading to the creation of over 500 jobs in the off-site manufacturing sector.
Scottish off-site companies have specific design, engineering and low carbon expertise which is attracting UK and international interest. The research has led to Edinburgh Napier holding discussions with Russia and the USA about future trade opportunities for Scottish firms.
Applications for the scheme are invited from Councils, Housing Associations, Builders and Developers by December 20, 2012.
Speaking in Glasgow during a visit to off-site manufacturer, City Building, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Investment and Cities, Nicola Sturgeon said:
"Scotland's house-building industry makes a sizeable contribution to Scotland's economic prosperity.
"Houses are key sources of carbon emissions so new technologies are essential to ensure we deliver energy efficient and low carbon affordable homes.
"The Greener Homes Innovation Scheme will encourage modern methods of construction thereby making more fuel efficient housing widely available, which will help to cut energy bills and tackle fuel poverty.
"The Edinburgh Napier University research points to a massive growth in the off-site manufacturing sector with export opportunities capable of securing 500 new jobs.
"This announcement builds on the budget statement made by Finance Secretary, John Swinney last week that included substantial funding for a green stimulus to boost economic recovery."
Philip Hogg, Chief Executive of industry body Homes for Scotland said:
"The Greener Homes Innovation Scheme is just one of the creative measures which is being utilised to secure new opportunities through the low-carbon economy, demonstrating that there has never been a better time to invest in a newly-built home.
"At a time when energy bills have rocketed, schemes such as this can make a real difference to the provision of desperately needed new homes, while also providing some relief to pressured household budgets."
More information about the Greener Homes Innovation Scheme and the Greener Homes Prospectus is available at:
The prospectus, originally produced for the Greener Homes Summit held last November, has been updated. It contains case studies of modern methods of construction.